Italy was split in two on Tuesday amid record heat in the south and central regions and violent storms in the north, as extreme weather events killed at least two people and injured several others, local media reported.
Red alert was issued in sixteen cities due to unusually high temperatures as the country continued to experience an unusual heat wave and extreme phenomena such as thunderstorms and cyclones continued.
Wildfires closed the airport in Sicily’s capital Palermo for several hours before reopening Tuesday morning as firefighters battled the blaze in the nearby area, where road and rail traffic was also disrupted.
Local authorities reported that a woman died after an ambulance was unable to reach her home after the fire.
The latest incident follows recent problems at Sicily’s main Catania airport, causing delays and cancellations at the peak of an already busy tourist season.
Catania’s airport was closed last week after a fire in the terminal building, but recently reopened for a few flights.
In addition, electricity and water supplies were disrupted in Palermo and Catania, which local officials blamed in part on the unusual heat.
In parts of eastern Sicily, temperatures soared to 47.6C (117.7F) on Monday, close to the European high of 48.8C (119.8F) recorded by the island two years ago.
To the north, overnight torrential rains ripped through roofs, uprooted hundreds of trees and blocked roads in Italy’s financial capital, Milan. The city’s power grid has been severely damaged, according to transport officials.
On Tuesday, a 16-year-old girl at a scout camp near the northern city of Brescia was killed when a tree fell on top of her tent, Italian news agencies reported.
Italy is one of the European countries hardest hit by climate change-related extreme weather, with the northern Emilia Romagna region experiencing deadly floods in May.
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